The CFL and B.C. Lions have nullified Euclid Cummings’ contract after it came to light Wednesday that the defensive lineman was facing criminal charges in a Vancouver court for sexual assault and threats.

Provincial court documents show the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Atlanta native was charged last April with four criminal offences involving two alleged victims stemming from incidents in Vancouver on Oct. 16, 2016. His team at the time, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, played their regular-season finale at B.C. Place on Oct. 14, 2016.

Cummings is charged with sexual assault, assault and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm to one person, and the sexual assault of another.

The 26-year-old played 16 games the following season with the Edmonton Eskimos — his eight sacks ranking third in the CFL, his three forced fumbles second-best in the league, along with 22 tackles — but news of the charges — filed on April 21, 2017 — only surfaced Wednesday. The league and Lions were both quick to react, voiding his contract as per provisions in the collective bargaining agreement, and scrubbing his presence from their websites.

The CFL released a statement Wednesday. “Upon learning of the criminal charges facing Euclid Cummings, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has voided his contract with the B.C. Lions. As these charges are before the courts, the CFL will offer no further comment.”

Lions general manager Ed Hervey also released a statement, and declined further comment.

“We support the Commissioner’s decision to void the contract of Euclid Cummings in light of criminal charges he is currently facing. We were given no indication by the player or his representation that these charges existed and I assure our fans, partners and supporters of the CFL across Canada, that we would not have offered him a contract had we known about this situation. Given that matter is before the criminal courts and under a publication ban, we will not be offering further comment.”

The Canadian Press reported that Cummings had signed a $150,000 contract with the Leos, including a $70,000 bonus that B.C. can’t recoup and will be counted against their salary cap.

The signing of the Georgia Tech product, who began his career with the Toronto Argonauts in 2014 and played two seasons there before moving to Winnipeg in 2016, was a big boost to the defensive line.

“Euclid is a young, up-and-coming lineman who definitely has the ability and potential to be one of most dominant interior players in the league,” Hervey said when Cummings was signed in mid-February.

“He’s equally skilled at playing the run and getting to the quarterback and never takes a play off.”

The revelation of the charges is particularly awkward, considering the Lions’ commitment to the Be More Than A Bystander campaign. Several members of the team have toured schools around the province, addressing the violence against women and girls and raising awareness of the issue.

Cummings appears in B.C. Provincial Court in Vancouver for trial on Oct. 15, 2018.

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